Socialist Worker

Revolt spreads across the Middle East

Issue No. 2237

The battle for the future of the Tunisian revolution is continuing.

The people have maintained their protests, which forced the dictator Ben Ali to flee.

A thousand protesters set up a camp outside the prime minister’s office demanding that the interim government resign.

After five days the police stormed the camp on Friday of last week.

Two hundred Islamists marched in the capital Tunis on Friday of last week to demand religious freedom. Ben Ali’s regime had persecuted them.

Thousands of Tunisians greeted the exiled Islamist leader Rached Ghannouchi on his return to Carthage airport last Sunday.

The protests are not at the same level as those that brought down Ben Ali.

But the fact that the government has 12 members of the old ruling party is unacceptable to many.

Regrouped

Mohamed Boukhres, a demonstrator camped outside prime minister’s office, said, “This is against the will of the people. We want the resignation of the entire government.”

The UGTT union representatives left the cabinet when members from the ruling party were restored.

The ruling class has regrouped after the overthrow of Ben Ali.

The forces that fought for radical change must continue and complete the revolution.

The overthrow of Ben Ali has inspired others across the Middle East to challenge their rulers.

Jordan’s King Abdullah fired his government on Tuesday in the wake of street protests and asked an ex-prime minister to form a new cabinet. He has been ordered to launch immediate political reforms. This followed marches in Amman and other cities over rising prices and unemployment.

In Yemen, socialists, Islamists and youth activists shut down the capital city Sana’a on Thursday of last week demanding that president Ali Abdullah Saleh resign.

The protests continued over the weekend.

With demonstrations also hitting the rigid regime in Qatar last week, Western‑backed leaders across the Middle East are sleeping lightly in their beds.


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